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Old 01-11-2007, 04:53 PM   #1
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Default We may as well be evacuating Earth right now.

http://men.msn.com/articlepm.aspx?cp...28365&GT1=8991

Friday the 13th of April 2029 could be a very unlucky day for planet Earth. At 4:36 am Greenwich Mean Time, a 25-million-ton, 820-ft.-wide asteroid called 99942 Apophis will slice across the orbit of the moon and barrel toward Earth at more than 28,000 mph. The huge pockmarked rock, two-thirds the size of Devils Tower in Wyoming, will pack the energy of 65,000 Hiroshima bombs -- enough to wipe out a small country or kick up an 800-ft. tsunami.

On this day, however, Apophis is not expected to live up to its namesake, the ancient Egyptian god of darkness and destruction. Scientists are 99.7 percent certain it will pass at a distance of 18,800 to 20,800 miles. In astronomical terms, 20,000 miles is a mere stone's throw, shorter than a round-trip flight from New York to Melbourne, Australia, and well inside the orbits of Earth's many geosynchronous communications satellites. For a couple of hours after dusk, people in Europe, Africa and western Asia will see what looks like a medium-bright star creeping westward through the constellation of Cancer, making Apophis the first asteroid in human history to be clearly visible to the naked eye. And then it will be gone, having vanished into the dark vastness of space. We will have dodged a cosmic bullet.

Maybe. Scientists calculate that if Apophis passes at a distance of exactly 18,893 miles, it will go through a "gravitational keyhole." This small region in space -- only about a half mile wide, or twice the diameter of the asteroid itself -- is where Earth's gravity would perturb Apophis in just the wrong way, causing it to enter an orbit seven-sixths as long as Earth's. In other words, the planet will be squarely in the crosshairs for a potentially catastrophic asteroid impact precisely seven years later, on April 13, 2036.

Radar and optical tracking during Apophis's fly-by last summer put the odds of the asteroid passing through the keyhole at about 45,000-to-1. "People have a hard time reasoning with low-probability/high-consequence risks," says Michael DeKay of the Center for Risk Perception and Communication at Carnegie Mellon University. "Some people say, 'Why bother, it's not really going to happen.' But others say that when the potential consequences are so serious, even a tiny risk is unacceptable."

Former astronaut Rusty Schweickart, now 71, knows a thing or two about objects flying through space, having been one himself during a spacewalk on the Apollo 9 mission in 1969. Through the B612 Foundation, which he co-founded in 2001, Schweickart has been prodding NASA to do something about Apophis -- and soon. "We need to act," he says. "If we blow this, it'll be criminal."
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Old 01-11-2007, 05:02 PM   #2
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All make sure I have a fridge full of beer for that day.
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Old 01-11-2007, 06:07 PM   #3
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Regardless of global warming cycels and all our technology. A rock is going to hit us someday. Might not be for a 100,000 years but..... one day WHAM!

There was one a year or so ago they didn't even see until after it passed! That one the size of a truck.
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Old 01-11-2007, 06:13 PM   #4
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All make sure I have a fridge full of beer for that day.
The "good" thing is, we'll have enough time to predict where it will hit and get the hell out. Say goodbye to the house, collect some insurance money and go party in the mountains for a year. Better record the GPS coordinates of your property line though. Since there will be a big ass hole where your house was. Or city.
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Old 01-11-2007, 06:46 PM   #5
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If nothing else, at ~20k miles, it should make one hell of a show for a few days!

*marks the date on my calendar*
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Old 01-11-2007, 07:38 PM   #6
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Thank goodness the Biiavians will have picked us up on the mother ship and taken us to their home planet by then. If you've got your symbol, that is...
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Old 01-11-2007, 08:28 PM   #7
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As long it doesn't block my Sirius signal, I'm good.

No really, I would hate to see Earth get destroyed!
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Old 01-11-2007, 09:00 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheScionicMan
Thank goodness the Biiavians will have picked us up on the mother ship and taken us to their home planet by then. If you've got your symbol, that is...
I have mine, my 2 year old cousin made it last week for me. Instead of giving him money, I gave him a sucker from the bank.
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Old 01-12-2007, 08:54 AM   #9
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About a year before, they will say how the projectory is wrong or get Bruce Willis to blow it up.
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Old 01-12-2007, 10:04 AM   #10
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I'll be in my 70s when it hits.

Screw it. I'll buy a ticket for ground zero.
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Old 01-12-2007, 04:07 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WolfViper
No really, I would hate to see Earth get destroyed!
Yea, that wouldn't be good.
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Old 01-12-2007, 04:12 PM   #12
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Yea, that wouldn't be good.
Neh.

It's had a good run.

Time to let it go.
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Old 01-12-2007, 05:52 PM   #13
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This must be why they are looking at building that moon base
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Old 01-12-2007, 08:17 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capn Ramius
Neh.

It's had a good run.

Time to let it go.
And by then we will all live in one big Wal-Mart Supercenter that is governed by the Republicrat party(merger in 2019 - easier choice for the people when there is only one candidate).
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Old 01-12-2007, 08:52 PM   #15
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I'm not leaving without the plants and animals...
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